Deadhead

Deadhead: (n) a person using a free pass

Just to be candid with you, when my children were growing up, I often called them “deadheads.”

It was that glassy-eyed look, which they would sport when arriving for breakfast, believing that if nothing was happening outside, then nothing need happen inside their own heads.

I taunted them about this profile because it does not disappear simply because you cease to be an adolescent.

For if you believe you’re going to respond to what is happening, but stay disconnected until you have confirmed there is activity afoot, you will not only fail to be ready for the opportunity, but will find yourself resentful that you weren’t given more time to prepare.

The secret to life is no secret.

It’s completely obvious.

The whole temperature of Planet Earth is geared to three different emotions, and our job is to know when to use them:

  1. Care
  2. Aware
  3. Dare

Often we arrive and somebody is already hurt. There’s pain in the air and suffering has made its mark. Being able to dip into a heart filled with grace and provide care is ushering heaven to Earth.

Sometimes there’s a chance to do something truly significant, but it is buried under inconvenience or arrives on a day when we have already determined that “we’re too busy.” Yet, for those who are aware and have tuned their ears, eyes and passions to possibility, these little treasures can carry us into the future and place us in great positions.

And we must realize there are occasions when fear, anger or bigotry has shut down the world around us, and it is time to step out of the box of conformity and do something unexpected—and provide immediate benefit.

Can we dare to do it?

So to avoid being a deadhead, you must travel with care, aware and dare tucked into your saddlebags, so you are ready to set up camp and start the fire.

Dander

Dander: (informal) Anger; temper

Bruce Banner generously offered a warning before he turned into the Incredible Hulk.

“Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like it when I’m angry.”

It gets me thinking.

Do we really like it when anyone’s angry?

Men have been known to say they think girls are cute when they get miffed. (But I just think that’s the horniness talking.)

If you stop and think about it, is anyone on Earth improved with the implementation of anger?

So even though the old phrase, “get your dander up” is no longer used, it’s modern-day equivalent of “you piss me off” is equally bizarre.

Because “dander” is nothing more than the dried flakes of the scalp, which we normally refer to as dandruff.

And “piss” is just something we squeeze out of our body several times a day, so we don’t bust.

Nobody is better when they’re angry.

Even people who think they have a righteous indignation almost always end up overdoing it—either getting too ferocious with their temper, or verbose with their complaints.

And although anger is an unattractive portion of the human experience, it seems to be written about, portrayed, discussed, displayed and commiserated more than any other emotion.

I think, deep inside us, we enjoy getting angry. It lets off some of the steam that’s been simmering because we feel cheated, left out or disrespected.

I guess that’s the power of saying yes when you mean yes and saying no when you mean no.

Because if you don’t, all that frustration piles up in your little head and eventually—sometimes unexpectedly—it pours out in some of the ugliest displays imaginable.

So maybe “get your dander up” is an excellent term for being angry.

Because generally speaking, after we get angry, we sure do feel like a flake.

 

Cut-throat

Cut-throat: (adj) involving the use of ruthless measures.

Human vice is not nice.

Sin will never actually win.

Mean is obscene.

Most of the end results of our actions are not accidental, but instead, deposits we’ve made which finally produce a dividend.

These deposits could be kindness, creativity, generosity, humor and tolerance.

Such soul-stirring emotions offer remedy.

But we can also deposit disappointment, despair, prejudice, anger, envy and lust.

These pernicious villains always bring about a cut-throat conclusion.

Yet the debilitating devastation left behind is not accidental.

  • It’s not because we “lost control.”
  • It’s not because we “got pushed too far.”

It’s just that we were not wise enough to know what to keep and what to throw away.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Collect

Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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Benediction

Benediction: (n) bestowing a blessing at the end

Dictionary B

Granting rights does not remove the wrongs.

We have become a society which is obsessed with the notion of “human rights,” failing to understand that being granted a voice doesn’t guarantee that you’re being heard.

Because of this error in judgment, we often feel satisfied and pronounce a benediction of completion over projects that are still quite incomplete.

So suddenly we are confronted with some nasty occurrences of racism, prejudice, misogyny, ill-founded anger and wickedness.

  • We feign surprise.
  • We’re really not.

It is important to give rights to other races, other religions and other lifestyles. But it isn’t a blanket pardon for all their inconsistencies and anti-human aspects–which still need to be addressed–nor for the lingering prejudices which we regard to be “respecting their culture.”

We pronounce benedictions much too soon.

The service is not over.

There is still much we need to do, with a servant’s heart, to correct many a wrong … even though the rights are intact.

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Banish

Banish (v): to send someone away from a country or place as an official punishment.Dictionary B

All through my teenage years, I used my arrogance as a means of establishing dominance. And of course, dominance seemed to grant me justification for my arrogance.

I was convinced I was valuable.

I was energized by my obvious ability, and I had no comprehension of anyone disagreeing with my self-assessment.

All the time, I was quietly making enemies.

These enemies were silent out of fear of my intense attitude mingled with some respect for my accomplishments.

  • They were waiting.
  • They were biding their time, looking for me to fall.
  • And I did.

In my era, I committed the worst possible breach of local protocol–I got my girlfriend pregnant in a time when young people were not supposed to have any awareness of their genitalia.

On top of that, I was a good church-going boy who now was the father of a baby out of wedlock.

I needed wisdom.

I needed mercy.

I needed to know what the hell to do next.

But since I had never expressed vulnerability, no one allowed me the courtesy of being wounded. They took all of the pent-up anger and frustration over my self-righteousness, and banished me and my girlfriend to an island by ourselves, where we were viewed as outcasts and a disgrace to the populace.

Now, I’m sure my reflections may seem overwrought, and the testimony of others who lived through the era might render a different tale.

But banishment is not the reality of the action. Instead, it is the sensation of the loneliness.

And I was lonely–so lonely that I considered aborting the very child that made my union with this dear woman viable.

I didn’t.

I survived the banishment and I guess my village got over all of my hypocritical indiscretion.

Life went on.

The amazing thing is that I have found myself many times possessing the same seat of judgment, with the ability to levy punishment against others and banish them from my sight.

I cannot tell you that my record is spotless and that I’ve always been a just judge.

But thank God, often the memory of being solitary and confined to my own iniquity and mistakes has caused me to extend tenderness … instead of shoving the problem-makers away.

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Apoplectic

dictionary with letter A

Apoplectic (adj.) 1. informal overcome with anger. 2. dated relating to apoplexy (stroke).

If anger is a turd, then rage is a pile of manure. And if we were able to deal with our turds, we wouldn’t have to shovel our shit.

You see, that’s the problem.

Some sense of false kindness prevents us from speaking our hearts, causing us to be deceptive rather than forthcoming.

It doesn’t change the fact of what we feel. Choosing a gentle answer does not make us more gentle. It actually causes us to create a second storehouse, where we stockpile resentment instead of building up our barns of blessing.

It is impossible for me to live a blessed life if I’m pissed off–and the longer I stay pissed off, the less chance I have of ever satisfying the breach I’ve created in my own emotions and soul.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the driving habits of the American traveler. People who would normally appear rational lose all sense of dignity when they get behind the wheel of an automobile, because they feel they’re protected by armor, like a knight on a crusade to kill dragons. They become profane, horn-honkers and selfish intruders into the lives of other human movers.

Why? Because the anger that should have been dealt with days ago is now stinking up the joint.

There is one mission in discovering the value of human life: don’t be afraid to say what you feel … as long as you’re prepared to be wrong.

And since most people are not suited for such an admission of guilt, they would rather keep their feelings to themselves and maintain them in a chest of self-righteousness.

  • Rage is what kills.
  • Anger is what opens the door to communication.

If we allow ourselves to be transparent in our emotions, we will avoid the danger of rage.

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Anger

dictionary with letter A

Anger: (n) : a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.

I don’t think there’s anything that makes people more angry than discussing anger.

It is a bit comical that any debate on the subject of human displeasure, manifesting as spits of rage, actually produces such diametrically opposed opinions that you end up with a personification of the word you originally decided to discuss.

Anger is the most common emotion to human beings. Matter of fact, if you even consider those who claim to be “God in the flesh,” they are described as being angry more often than amiable.

But just because it’s common does not mean that we’re willing to accept it, adopt it, own it or admit that we participate. One of the great bastions of pride are those souls who insist they never get angry.

Let me give you a quick definition for anger which is a little different from Mr. Webster’s.

Very simply, anger is frustrated passion.

If it’s sexual passion and it’s not allowed to come to fruition, it can quickly become ferocious or even violent.

If it’s creative passion which is limited in resources or opportunities, it can descend into depression or even in the case of many unfulfilled artists, suicide.

If it is parental passion which is unable to communicate earth’s ways with its child, rendering the parent seemingly useless, it can quickly turn to tears and accusations.

Without passion, we basically die emotionally, causing us to produce a spiritual numbness that freezes our brain–without further illumination.

Yet when we have passion, we risk frustrating ourselves in a blandness of inactivity which can produce the anger of our undoing.

So what is the value of anger? It tells us that our passion is frustrated.

  • Don’t question the passion.
  • Don’t complain about the anger.
  • Minister to the frustration.

Maybe that’s why the Good Book says we should “be angry and sin not.” Because when the frustration that causes our anger is not addressed, every sin imaginable jumps up and volunteers to destroy us. 

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Anathema

dictionary with letter A

Anathema: (n) something or someone which one vehemently dislikes.

I wonder if that’s what’s necessary? I mean, I’m curious if there is a requirement for a certain amount of vehemence, anger, intensity and frustration to well up in the human soul before we actually decide to change anything.

Let’s take the old-fashioned word repentance.

It’s not old-fashioned because it’s out-dated. but like many valuable words, it’s lost some of the frequency of use because it’s not quite as pleasant to current thinking.

But I’m not sure repentance is possible until we become totally disgusted with where we are. In other words:

  • Will racism ever leave our world until it becomes anathema to our lives and even our breathing?
  • Can I lose weight without, in some way, shape or form, despising my way, shape and form?
  • Do we ever become free of our addictions until we nearly literally vomit them from our existence?

Are there really only two gears in the human vehicle–drive and reverse?

I don’t know.

But without anger and protests, most wars tend to go on indefinitely. Without some teaching of abstinence, promiscuity, disease and unwanted pregnancy begin to creep into society.

And without constantly reminding ourselves of our ancestors owning people as slaves, we just might forget to think about how we’re enslaving people today.

What is an anathema?

It is whatever we decide to do that takes away the power of other folks to do what they decide.

Yes, I guess that’s worth a few minutes … of uncomfortable reflection.

 

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Accomplish

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accomplish: (v.) to achieve or complete successfully.

Is it permissible for me to slightly disagree with a definition?

Because I have to be honest with you–I feel like I have accomplished things in my life without being successful. I think placing the term “success,” tying that word to every endeavor, is a great way of discouraging people from launching into activities that might fall short of expectation.

Sometimes I accomplish what I am able to do, but I don’t think anybody would brand it a success. When you take away my sense of accomplishment because I don’t meet our culture’s definition of achievement, you not only rob me of personal satisfaction, but you also greatly tempt me to avoid taking on anything that is risky enough to fall short of the “glory road.”

Sometimes we accomplish without ever seeing success.

Every once in a while, we find ourselves in a garden of despair, praying alone, fully cognizant that we are exactly where we need to be, even though it seems that running away would be a better alternative.

Every once in a while, the criticism nails us to the cross, as it were, where we declare that our work is finished, even though it looks like we are on our last legs.

Not everything is as simple as people make it, or even as Webster dictates. There is a season when ideas must be pursued, even when the prejudice and anger of the world around us dooms them to obscurity. There is a certain amount of bravery necessary to accomplish your mission, without receiving any badge of merit.

No, in this case I have to disagree with the dictionary. It is very possible to accomplish an intricate and essential task without ever being rewarded.

  • It is completely plausible to be a good parent and have lousy children.
  • It is possible to take care of your car and accomplish all maintenance requirements and still break down,
  • And it is certainly in the realm of reasonability to be a good husband or wife and end up in a divorced situation.

If we’re going to use superficial qualifications to have joy in our lives, or if we’re only truly happy when accolades are sent our way, we will eventually steer our ship toward safe, still waters.

Maybe that’s why mediocrity is now accepted as normal–and our world suffers in the malaise.